Strengthening our Schools with Affordable Homes for Teachers

In the city of Philadelphia less than 60 percent of students graduate from high school. High poverty rates and the ever increasing costs of living in the city compound the problems facing both teachers and students. Seawall Development saw a similar challenge in Baltimore and developed a model to provide affordable office space and housing for those groups and individuals working to help improve education in Baltimore. Seawall has recently replicated this model in Philadelphia. Their latest project, Oxford Mills, will provide teachers and nonprofits cost savings on housing and work space to help promote a collaborative and supportive environment, alleviating some of the challenges the education community is facing.

Oxford Mills

  • 114 Apartments; there are discounts for teachers renting apartments and 23 are reserved specifically for households making less than 80 percent of AMI
  • 38,000 square feet of office space; 14,000 square feet rented by Teach for America, a strong supporter of the project
  • 1,300 square feet café
  • Meets the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria
  • Will create 200 construction jobs and retain approximately 100 jobs with commercial tenants

Enterprise Community Loan Fund provided a $3 million predevelopment/acquisition loan to purchase the site. Enterprise Community Investment then provided a $10 million New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Allocation. They were joined by two other NMTC allocatees, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation provided $15 million and the National Trust Community Investment Corporation provided $9 million in allocation. TD Bank was the NMTC equity investor and provided the majority of the remaining financing, including $17.8 million in term debt and $6.3 million in historic tax credit equity.

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